tv MSNBC Live With Alex Witt MSNBC December 31, 2017 10:00am-11:00am PST
good to be with you. i'm for instances rivera at msnbc headquarters in new york. 1:00 p.m. in the east, 10:00 a.m. out west. we begin with breaking news. a deadly police shooting in colorado. it happened in littleton, just outside of denver. the douglas county sheriff's office says one deputy was killed and four others shot while responding to a domestic disturbance. you're looking at a procession held for the slain officer heading to the coroner's officer. here's the initial call to first responders. >> units responding to 3404 east county line road. multiple victims shot. >> right now, we have a few shot deputies. >> contacting littleton hospital. >> officials say the suspect was shot and believed to be dead. two civilians were also shot, and among the deputies wounded is the son of a boulder county sheriff. joining us now is msnbc law
enforcement analyst jim cavanaugh, who is a former hostage negotiation for the atf. as we assess this, and details are just coming in, is it correct to call this an ambush, and what type? >> yes, it's correct to call it an ambush when you have five deputies responding to a call and they're shot like that. so what we don't know is what was the initial call. it's reported as a domestic disturbance. and that may be true. or it could be a ruse just to get officers to respond and then ambush them. and we've seen that scenario play out in law enforcement over the years. so we're not quite sure of that. it does sound like it may be rifle fire with five deputies shot, and maybe the tactical officers were able to take out the shooter with a rifle. that's what appears to have happened. >> jim, so far, it's initially reported as a domestic call. when it comes to something like that, what do they consider in coming in, knowing that there could be, you know, somebody who is wanting to do harm on himself
and others there. there may be children, and in this case, may endanger, as we saw, a number of law enforcement officials and officers there. >> domestic calls can be extremely dangerous for uniformed officers because you don't know what you're getting into. you don't know who the person is. they could be, you know, one of the most wanted fugitives in america. they could be a person who's just berserk. they could be an anti-government extremist, a violent person, a person who wants to kill their family, a person who wants to kill anyone who comes. the officers don't know what they're getting into. they try to get some intelligence from their dispatch if calls have been at that location before, but basically, you're going into an unknown situation. some tactics can change, and i'm sure douglas county will re-evaluate as all agencies do, the way ambushes have been up, some tactics can help. sometimes, you know, plain clothes cars, more plain clothes cars that can respond and kind of try to feel it out a little more, just a few minutes can give you some time.
and also a telephone call into the suspect residence by a police negotiator, even on a routine call, is not a bad idea. you might be able to get some intelligence on the phone to save your officers. >> jim cavanaugh for us. thank you. and to the other big story we're following. new reaction to "the new york times" report on how a foreign policy adviser of the trump campaign cast as a coffee boy may have been the reason the fbi began its investigation of russia and trump associaties. they said george papadopoulos told an australian diplomat that russia had dirt in the form of emaims on hillary clinton. here's matt apuzo in an interview with me earlier with his takeaways. >> we now know from court documents that have been released by bob mueller's investigators that at that point, papadopoulos knew that russia had, quote, thousands of her e-mails. and this is well before anybody
knew about hacked e-mails, well before e-mails were being released publicly. the russians clearly saw him as a way into the trump campaign. some of the e-mails we have been able to see are remarkable, where people are saying russian intermediaries are saying i would like to become a campaign surrogate. i would like to write op-eds for you. >> garrett haake is following the president. how is the white house responding to the report? >> well, frances, in the last 24 hours, we have seen the white house response play out in a way that should start to feel familiar to people every time these big russia related stories break. first, the president's attorney put out a statement essentially offering no comment, saying they would out of respect for the process let the special counsel continue to do his work. later in the evening, we heard the president tweeting about fake news, fictitious sources, media and stories he doesn't like without any particular context to it, although that was the biggest story about the
president to break yesterday. this morning, we have heard from some of the president's allies saying yes, perhaps, even if there were shady individuals dealing with russia during the campaign, it certainly didn't rise to the level of the president. and then finally completing the cycle today, we heard from some republican lawmakers saying, guys. let's let the special counsel do his work. here was lindsey graham this morning. >> i want somebody to look at how the department of justice handled the dossier. as to the russia investigation, i don't think it hurts our country to look at what russia did in our election. as a matter of fact, it would hurt us if we ignored it. there's no evidence of collusion between the trump campaign and the russians yet, but it would be up to mr. mueller to make that decision. the president needs to focus on his day job. i need to focus on being a senator. and we all need to let mr. mueller do his job. i think he's the right guy at the right time. >> you heard lindsey graham there pushing back on something that the president said during his interview with "the new york times" from a few days ago in
which the president had said that this investigation looks -- makes the united states look bad. graham has become a very close ally of the president on most things but has been a steady voice saying this russia investigation needs to continue. >> all right. and garrett, the president has also been reacting to the protests in iran. we have two people reportedly killed in a wave of demonstrations over the country's economic problems. the president of iran issued his first comments since the protests began thursday, saying people have the right to protest. what's the latest from the president on this? >> well, that statement from the president of iran also goes on to say the iranians shouldn't listen to people who have called iranians terrorists, which certainly appears to be a veiled reference, perhaps, to the president himself. president trump has been very active on twitter over the last day or so since that story broke. encouraging the iranian people to speak out, retweeting elements of a he gave at the united nations some month ago,
saying that the biggest enemy of the iranian people are the iranian leadership. he's been very involved in making sure that the iranian regime knows the world and the united states will be watching and trying to keep those protests as much in the public eye over this holiday weekend as possible. >> garrett haake for us, traveling there, west palm beach, with the president. thank you for the update. >> i want to bring in democratic congressman ted lieu of california. congressman, appreciate you being with me. i want to start with your tweet yesterday, reacting to "the new york times" report. so you say this. keep in mind, no one was really aware of george papadopoulos until his guilty plea was revealed. that tells us special counsel mueller knows far more than people think. what do you mean by that? >> well, we know that george papadopoulos has now agreed to cooperate with special counsel mueller, and keep in mind, he was on no one's radar screen until the guilty plea was unveiled. that tells me that special
counsel mueller knows a lot about facts and circumstances surrounding the russia investigation, and he's not letting people know what he knows until public documents come out with indictments and guilty pleas. and i expect next year to see more indictments coming. >> earlier, we played a part of my interview with that "new york times" reporter. he talks about the repeated attempts by russians to use papadopoulos as a way to get into the trump campaign. we learned the russians had been reaching out to the trump campaign even at the meeting in trump tower. how significant is this revelation about papadopoulos, especially when we see him, you know, painted as this coffee boy, a volunteer, but now we're learning that he edited an outline of president trump's foreign policy speech. he set up a meeting with the egyptian president. >> it's significant because it shows what they're trying to do saying this is some sort of democratic witch hunt is false.
the fbi investigation started because one of our most trusted allies, the australians, told us a trump official knew that the russians had thousands of stolen e-mails from the democrats. that leetdz to all sorts of questions such as who else in trump campaign knew? what did the trump campaign do with this information? that's what special counsel mueller is investigating. >> when it comes to the attacks against the fbi from the president and the gop and how those are escalating against the fbi, do you think all these revelations put that in any kind of perspective? >> i think it continues to show that the fbi is composed of dedicated and patriotic men and women who base their investigations and their actions on the evidence and the facts, and keep in mind, the fbi director, christopher wray, has given over 39,000 dollars exclusively to republican candidates. i still trust him because it's demeaning to say somehow that fbi officials can't do their jobs just because they have political opinions. all of us have political opinions. >> congressman, i want to ask you about my conversation with
democratic congressman steve cohen about the following tweet that he wrote this morning. says, quote, he golfs, talking about the president, when he could be reading or be in church or be with his family. never see him with barron. you think he would be golfing with dad occasionally, but narcissists only engage in activities where they are the show. no movies, sports viewing either. just fox. he will start a war. so do you endorse that kind of rhetoric from your democratic colleague or is he crossing a line here, bringing in the president's son into the picture, in order to criticize him? >> i don't mind if the president of the united states golfs. i do mind when he misleads the american people about it, because keep in mind, donald trump tweeted that he was going to go right back to work the next day, and that wasn't really true. he went golfing for a lot more days. so i think it's fine to point out his inconsistencies, and that's something that we in congress need to do, is be a check and balance on the president. >> how about bringing up barron trump, his son?
>> i can't speak to my colleagues. i know that -- >> is it off limits? >> i don't personally talk about relatives. >> is it off limits on his part? >> you know, you'll have to ask him. >> which we did. all right. i want to ask you about last month, cohen, representative cohen, entering articles of impeachment. politico is reporting that democratics are divided over the impeachment debate. do you see a risk if there is not bipartisan approval? >> i think impeachment is one of the gravest responsibilities of congress, similar to our ability to declare war. it is not something we should ever do as a first option. it must be done based on the facts and the evidence. i think we need to let special counsel mueller's investigation play out. it may be a very easy question for us at the end of the investigation as to what congress should do. >> certainly a lot on the plate in the new year. the upcoming week, especially
when it comes to daca, the fight over immigration reform. you have congressional leaders expecting to meet with white house officials on wednesday. the president will not be there, but you saw president trump's tweet friday, telling democrats no border wall, no daca. why would he say that when he knows it's a nonstarter for democrats and members of his own party when they want to protect the daca recipients? >> i don't know why the president would tweet that out because first of all, the republicans control congress. they control the white house. they can pass any legislation they want without needing democratic votes. but the currency on capitol hill is votes. so if they don't have their own votes together, then they need to come to democrats. if they want my vote, he's going to have to change the terms of the deal because i'm not going to support what he laid out. >> congressman ted lieu, thank you for your time. happa new year to you. >> thank you. people across the country are getting an especially cold introduction to 2018 with near record low temperatures. residents are hard at work in erie, pennsylvania, after being hit with about seven feet of
snow since last sunday. 2 million people are expected to pack times square tonight in new york city, wondering how cold it will be. let's turn to bonnie schneider with how low we're going to go. >> one of the coldest ever. this is the temperature we'll see at midnight, 11 degrees, but the windchill, negative 5. outside in new york city right now, it's 14 degrees. so not much warmer at all. you can see the cold air across the country. these are current temperatures. the problem is it's going to get colder when we look morning lows. in terms of snow, erie getting a break after all the snow they saw this past week, but there are still so many, over 163 million americans right now under some sort of windchill advisory at presbyterient. that means by the time we get to new year's morning, these are the temperatures you'll face. a windchill in green bay of negative 30. through the week, is there a warmup? it depends on where you are. it goes from 15 to 17 in wichita from tuesday to thursday, but across the east, only getting
colder. richmond, your high will go down to 7. really getting a frigid start to 2018. and it's going to continue for the middle to end of next week as well. look at the temperatures. friday's high in new york city, the low temperature, will be in the single digits. we're not warming up by any means. we'll still see the really cold air. one place where it's not cold is california, at least some parts of the state. 64 degrees for the rose parade, looking good with sunny skies. and once again, the forecast for new year's eve, times square, very frigid with temperatures right at 11, and winds out of the northwest that will make for breezy conditions, so if anyone is heading out there, i would recommend definitely wearing the layers and maybe trying to get out there close to midnight so you can be for for the ball dropping and then leave because it's going to be a tough one. >> that means squeezing extra tight so they're nice and warm and cozy in those temperatures. we take a live look in times square. bonnie, thank you. still to come, is president trump reinventing the presidency? peter baker writes in today's
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a new report is looking back at president trump's 2017 and the rippling effect he could have on the office of the presidency. "the new york times" report is titled for trump, a year of reinventing the presidency, and it makes a startling point, saying quote, he is making the presidency more authentic or
more autocratic depending on your vantage point. either way, it may never be the same. let's bring in carrie sheffield, and matt bennett, former deputy assistant to the president in the clinton administration. he's the co-founder and senior vice president of public affairs. does that concept we heard that the president could be permanently transforming what it means to be president concern you from this point on? >> well, i think every single president puts his or her mark on the presidency, so it will be shaped in his or her image going forward depending on who will be after president trump. in terms of being authentic, i think trump has redefined what it means to speak directly to the people, to speak directly to the people who elected him, to speak directly to american citizens about the policies that matter. in that respect, i think 2017 has been a good year. a year where the mainstream media has been, you know, been held accountable for trying to act as the gate keeper and to, i think, distract people from
substantive policies like great action the president has taken on issues like tax reform, internet freedom, you know, defeating isis. so i would rather focus on policy and substance, and i think that the president is able to do that by using social media very effectively. >> all right. matt, when you hear -- i know there's a chuckle right there in using social media effectively in saying that 2017 was great in the view of carrie. there's a little chuckle there. >> yeah, look, i think peter baker is right about one thing. that trump is having an enormous effect on the presidency. i think it's very negative. some things aren't going to be repeated with our next president, god willing. we're not going to have the grifting of, you know, enriching himself and his family. we're not going to have the path logical need for affirmation from everyone, including foreign leaders. and you know, i don't know whether we'll have the indiscipline we have seen in every aspect of his life,
including online. what i really worry about, though, is he has set the bar so unbelievably low for lying, from himself and from his staff, that i worry even a democrat will get in and say why should we unilaterally tell the truth. trump just spent four years lying to us multiple times a day. >> with that, carrie, i want to ask you when it comes to "the new york times" article, it goes on to say when it comes to the president and what it will lay forward for the next president, that the next president may feel compelled to be more active with the public even as he or she feels less compelled to release tax returns or white house entry logs because mr. trump refused to. the next president may feel more emboldened to take on entrenched interests or less worried about stretching the truth. should republicans be worried about these things becoming new norms? if so, do they have a responsibility to do something about it, carrie? >> well, i mean, there's no question that trump completely
disrupted the conservative, the republican establishment. and i think that he was a reflection of a lot of disconnect that happened between people who were elite, well educated, wealthy conservatives and the working blue-collar working class conservatives. so it's up to the conservative establishment to understand how to connect with people who are the grass roots foot soldiers who they have been neglected for 50 years. if establishment republicans are upset about how trump is disruptic norms, we need to think about the good norms we want to hold people accountable, these are all things we want to keep in place going forward, but we have to look at the big picture to see all the ways trump embodies the failures of the conservatives to speak directly and understand the concerns that the grassroots conservatives had. >> when it comes to the president and the executive
actions, many on the right will say we have president obama to blame in setting the president up for that here. would you say the president may bear some of that responsibility, matt? is that fair to say? >> well, i do think that carrie is right that every president kind of changes the presidency in certain ways. there has been a move towards executive authority that obama was part of. there's no doubt about that. i think one thing that trump has done that's been quite a radical break in this regard is the complete reversal of virtually every single thing that his predecessor touched. you always see some sort of reconsideration the first year of a presidency when the parties change. but his has been wholesale and it's been very destructive in a lot of ways including environmental protection and other things. and my hope is that will be turned around by the next president. >> carrie, we have one more day left in this year. and in 2018, looking ahead, what are your predictions? what do you see?
>> well, my hope is that i will see in 2018 a focus on substance, a focus on policy, i like to see a lot of this noise behind us. i'm glad to see inspector mueller, it appears he will be wrapping up his investigation. he has made arrests. he's made indictments. and these are all good things to hold people accountable for actions that were happening either after the campaign or happened before affiliation with trump. so i think that that's part of why the president feels very confident when he gave that interview with "the new york times" to say, you know, the people who are in my orbit have been held accountable. i would like to see this wrapped up. ied with like to focus on issues like welfare reform, like criminal justice reform. that's my hope for 2018. >> matt, your predictions? what are you watching, would expect to see? >> i would like to see more bipartisanship, but my expectation is it's going to be worse than 2017. i think the mueller investigation may wrap up in 2018, but it's certainly going to rattle the white house in ways that make them and
particularly trump even more reactive. i think it could be an even nastier year than the one we just survived. >> we'll find out soon enough. matt and carrie, thank you. >> thank you. next, bidding ado to 2017. we'll check in with times square with a look at what's being done to keep the big bash safe.
for singing definitely dry mouth has been a problem for me. i'm also on a lot of medications that dry my mouth. i just drank tons of water all the time. it was never enough. i wasn't sure i was going to be able to continue singing. i saw my dentist. he suggested biotene. it feels refreshing. my mouth felt more lubricated. i use biotene rinse twice a day and then i use the spray throughout the day. it actually saved my career in a way.
i'm frances rivera in for alex witt here at msnbc headquarters in new york. approaching the half hour. here's what we're monitoring. taiwan rang in 2018 with this dazzling light display and all the changing colors in taipei. the amazing pyrotechnics show was held at a landmark building in the capitol, and dubai is one of the next major cities to ring in the new year. here in new york city, crowds are already lining up to watch the ball drop in times square. police are working to keep millions safe and will have a big presence there tonight. let's check in with anne thompson who is in times square and she's joined by the president of the times square alliance. hi, anne. >> hi, frances. they have 11 hours to go and they're already here waiting. they're bundled up. tim thompsons is the president
of times square alliance. you're expecting 2 million people. do you think that's going to affect people. >> i think most people will arrive later so they don't have to be out for quite as long. i think we'll end up with a full house. people plan this trip for a long time. >> that was my question. who are these people who stand out in the cold for hours? >> you know, the new yorkers are a little more cynical about it. they tend to show up at 11:45 thinking they can get in. the folks here, they make a long trip, book a hotel room, and they say i'm in it to win it. >> given the fact that the windchills could be below zero tonight, are there any special precautions that you're taking to help people get through this as they wait for the ball to drop? >> we just say to people bundle up big time and be prepared. i think people who are out here are prepared, and the reason people come here is it's this big ritual that we need after 2017. we need a reboot to say let's put behind us what we don't like about last year and start with a new beginning. >> the other concern tonight is
security. especially after what happened in las vegas in october where we saw a gunman take advantage of a high vantage point and shoot at people. what's happening here to prevent such an event like that? >> nypd is not only on the job, they're ahead of the curve. they have added extra barriers to keep away vehicles and they have under cover and above cover people in the hotels because they're aware of the active shooting situations and they're really on top of it. you think about it, all day long the nypd folks are out here in the cold protecting us. that's what they do 365/24/7. >> i have covered a lot of big events in my career, and i'm amazed at how well organized this is. and how peaceful it is for how many people you get in this area. >> it just goes -- preparation goes a long way, except for people like mariah kcarey. maybe she'll rehearse this year. hopefully she won't throw her sound people under the bus and just rehearse.
>> best of luck. that's it from here. this is actually the warm part of the day, but it's going to be bitter cold tonight. and if you're coming down here, be prepared to stand in freezing and i mean freezing temperatures. frances. >> your hood is not on this time around, so yeah. must be sweltering out there. you could use that in the single digits. thank you. new reaction to "the new york times." the story for the fbi's investigation into russia's involvement in the 2016 election. the times reports that george papadopoulos revealed a connection to russia while speaking with an australian diplomat in may of 2016. joining me now is michael mcfaul, former u.s. ambassador to russia and also author of the upcoming book "from cold war to hot peace, the inside story of russia and america." he's also an msnbc russian affairs contributor. thank you for being with us on this new year's eve. before we get to russia, i want to get your take on the protests in iran overnight.
they have become deadly with two dead now, and also the calls for the country's supreme leader to step down. you have been tweeting about them. what's your take on this? >> well, i honestly am always inspired when people go out to express their rights, to express their ideas about a democratic future. i think it's way too early to know how this ends. the islamic republic of iran is a very brutal regime. and we know from previous demonstrations, including tragically in 2009, that they used a lot of brutal force to repress these protesters. but something is going on in iran. it's in many cities, not just in the capital. and i think we need to watch closely what might happen next. >> the president also watching it and tweeting. he tweeted this, the people are finally getting wise as to how their money and wealth is being stolen and squandered on terrorism. looks like they will not take it any longer. the u.s. is watching very closely for human rights violations. and this is how senator lindsey graham responded on cbs's "face
the nation." >> president trump is tweeting very sympathetically to the iranian people. but you just can't tweet here. you have to lay out a plan. and if i were president trump, i would lay out a plan as to how i would engage the regime. i would till the europeans and the congress and the world that america is going to withdraw from this agreement unless it's a better deal. and i would lay out what a better deal would look like and stand with the iranian people the entire time. >> then you have a statement from president rouhani in the past hour saying criticism and protest is a people's right. he goes on to say one who calls the iranian nation a terrorism does not have a right of passion for people, veiled at our president trump there. do you agree with lindsey graham there on that? >> well, i agree that we should stand with the iranian people and think of ways to support them. and also be careful to not embrace them too much so that we somehow delegitimate them.
remember, not everybody in iran thinks a tweet from the president of the united states is a good thing. including opposition leaders. but i think it's really wrong to tie together the iran nuclear deal with the fate of these democratic protests. maybe there was some relationship in the past, but to somehow for us to bring in our domestic politics, debating whether that iranian nuclear deal was good or bad, with what's going on on the streets of iran, i think is improper. and there's no evidence whatsoever that the protesters in iran today are talking about the iran nuclear deal that we did with the iranian regime and the five other leaders in the p-5 plus one. so separate out those two issues, and hopefully there will be something that can be done to advance democracy and human rights inside iran. >> i want to shift and talk to you about "the new york times"stotimes" story and papadopoulos. we spoke to one of the reporters who broke the story.
>> frankly, the russians clearly saw him as a way into the trump campaign. some of the e-mails we have been able to see are just remarkable. where people are saying russian intermediaries saying i would like to become a campaign surrogate, quietly go out and write op-eds for you or speak on the campaign's behamp without acknowledging my role. >> the trump campaign's narrative has been clear, that papadopoulos was this coffee boy, a volunteer. then yet we see this. >> well, obviously, he wasn't a coffee boy. you know, if he was just a coffee boy, why is the ambassador from australia in the uk meeting with him? that's the question i'm really interested in. what did he know that compelled him to meet with mr. papadopoulos. but what is crystal clear from this incredible reporting from "the new york times" is that this gentleman, who was a foreign policy adviser with the trump campaign, as we know, sat there with the candidate trump early in the campaign, had early
knowledge of what the russians were doing to interfere in our election. whether or not they coordinated on it and colluded on it, we still need to know that, but the very fact that he knew this so early, i think is deeply disturbing and a real advance in terms of what we know about the interactions between the trump campaign and the russian government. >> speaking to that, there's another revelation in that piece that contradicts another explanation that we have heard from the trump campaign about papadopoulos's efforts to connect president trump and putin, if the campaign wanted. mr. papadopoulos to stand down previously obtained e-mails obtained by the times showed he either did not get the message or failed to heed it. he continued for months to try to arrange some meeting with russian representatives keeping senior campaign advisers abreast of his efforts. when it comes to that and you have the investigation of robert mueller and his probe, does that
change the understanding of the scope of that? >> i think the biggest thing for me is we now know why mr. papadopoulos was one of the first people, the very first people that mueller went after. before it was rather mysterious, right? who is this guy? why is he in the news today? now, i think we clearly understand that in terms of early contacts and perhaps collusion between the trump campaign and the russian government, he was a central figure. >> all right, michael mcfaul, thank you for your time. we appreciate it, ambassador. happy new year to you. >> thanks for having me. >> a congressman leading the call for president trump's impeachment launches a personal attack on the president. did he cross the line or is he just flaying the president's game?
i tweeted it because i read about sam stein's tweet where he showed the hypocrisy of republicans who condemned president obama who doesn't golf nearly as much as president trump, and not at the expense of the american taxpayer. but donald trump is the most despicable human being to ever reside at 1600 pennsylvania avenue. a nar cystic sociopath doesn't change, and it endangers the country, and war is something he could get into to improve the ratings. >> that's steve cohen last hour when i asked him about his tweet, and here's that tweet. he says, he golfs when he could be reading or being in church or be with his family. never see him with barron.
you would think he would be golfing with dad occasionally, but narcissists only engage in activities where they're the show. no movies, sports viewing either. just fox. he will start a war. joining me now is jane timm, nbc news reporter, and sabrina siddiqui. thanks for being with me. jane, i want to start with you. is that a valid criticism, or is he crossing the line? >> i think getting into conversations about how he spends time with his family are beside the point. there's a whole lot of realistic and real concerns about how much time he spends at his own properties. by our own kaekt, he spent 115 day of 344 days in office at his own properties. i think getting into how he spends times with his kids, not really steve cohen's concern, but where he spends taxpayer money, that's fair. >> could he have made the point without bringing up the kids? should presidents' kids be off limits? not the kids, not the children?
>> absolutely, when it comes to barron because he is, after all, a young child. he should be off limits in the same way sasha and malia obama were off limits. it's a different question when you're talking about trump's adult children who have played a role in the white house, who have positions of influence such as ivanka trump, donald trump jr., eric trump. but the point the congressman should have focused on was potential conflicts of interest, the amount of time trump spends promoting his own brand by being at his property for more than 115 days. also, the fact that there is -- he had really aggressively attacked president obama for the amount of time he spent on the golf course, even though trump in his first year is poised to spent triple that amount of time on the golf course, and the white house also wasn't transparent about it. they refuse to confirm he's golfing because they clearly are mindful of the optics before the american public. so there are a lot of other issues that they could go after trump on. i don't think they really need to bring the children into it.
>> all right. let's move on and talk about "the new york times" report on former foreign policy adviser george papadopoulos possibly being the force behind the fbi's investigation of russia. he told an australian diplomat that russia had dirt on hillary clinton in the form of e-mails. jane, what does this tell us about where the investigation is headed? >> this is pretty big. if you see papadopoulos telling his drinking buddies that russia has dirt on hillary clinton, we don't know who else he told. it's clear there's more than a dossier when the trump administration says was wildly discredited and they like to point to that because it has a lot of outlandish and crude claims in it. it's easy to say that's not true, but what we see is the fbi has been looking into this for many months and the trump administration and their allies have repeatedly lied to the american people when they say there's nothing to it. trump administration people say we had no ties to russia. we see nine people had tied and
conversations with russians, and continually, we see more and more of this. just recently, we saw the president saying no collusion, but if there was collusion, there wouldn't be a crime. we keep seeing how far do we have to go until we say there's prr no contact, yes, there is. there's no this, yes, there is. >> we see the gop argument about the steele dossier, the original impetus to all of this. where does it go when it comes to that, sabrina? is that argument dead? >> i think that certainly the central question was, why did the fbi launch its investigation into russian interference in the u.s. election. and part of why republicans were eager to point to the steele dossier is because there were some outlandish claims in it that have yet to be substanti e substantiated, and fusion gps, it was first funded by a conservative wep site, later, that was picked up by the dnc and hillary clinton, so republicans tried to portray it as tainted. it's not more difficult for them
to make the argument when we know papadopoulos is who served as the catalyst of the investigation. i'm quickly add, there are portions of the steele dossier such as paul manafort's contacts with the russians, carter page meeting with the russians and the effort to undermine hillary clinton that have been kwauberated. the dossier certainly is not debunked as much as republicans try to claim it is. >> when you look at the timing of this, jane, anything to that as far as the sense that leaks like these could impact mueller's investigation? >> it is notable that just a few days ago, the president was tweeting, look, the dossier is what started this whole investigation, claiming it was a clinton mess, as he tweeted, crediting that news to fox, whether or not that actually came from fox, questionable. but it's notable that these leaks do come every time the president is out there saying look, you see the fbi or allies of the fbi or other intelligence sources, we don't know exactly where this story came from, trying to correct the record. >> sabrina, is this
investigation going to carry through 2018? >> i think absolutely. it's very clear there have been some key indictments of high ranking officials in the campaign. we know that michael flynn has said he would cooperate with the investigation. obviously, george papadopoulos has been doing so since july. it's clear mueller's team is being very cautious. they have kept this within the context of russian interference in the u.s. election. potential collusion between associated of the trump campaign and moscow. i don't think he is going to speed the investigation up simply because republicans are calling on him to do so. the question will be, is their job security for robert mueller and will republicans defend the integrity of the investigation. >> sabrina and jane, thank you. happy new year. >> thank you. and more reaction to the papadopoulos story from a former fbi agent who worked with bob mueller. that's next. at the lexus december to remember sales event.
fast like stop staring atcaps help youthe clock fast,st, like stop worrying about your boss fast, like wow, you're already asleep fast. when life keeps you up... zzzquil helps you fall asleep in as little as 20 minutes. new reaction to that report this weekend by "new york times" that former campaign adviser george papadopoulos that russia had political dirt on hillary clinton. joining me now a former assistant director for counterintelligence at the fbi. so, frank, you got this
bombshell story pointing to papadopoulos as the one who helped spur the russia probe. your take away on that. >> a couple take aways. a huge counterintelligence to mueller's inquiry. what we're looking at that's visible is an iceberg. sub surface and that sub surface is largely classified counterintel and intel information. we're learning that the osiauss, that means this largely started as counterintel probe. second take away, papadopoulos is elevated as an importance in investigation. we're all talking flynn, flynn, flynn. papadopoulos new weeks before anybody knew of wikileaks and its possession of e-mails. papadopoulos was talking to
about it. he knew who knew what when and this raises his importance. >> how about why are we finding about this only now and who is responsible? who were the sources in that reporting and was it somebody within the investigation? >> what we can't see beneath the surface largely classified, why is this leaking? this seems to be the result of a leak. and let's remember the osies are tremendous allies of the united states. part of what are called the five is. five countries that share everything with each other because we have common adversaries. and the fact that this is getting out can't be pleasing to the aussies and probably not pleasing to bob mueller. >> quickly. what is your take on papadopoulos? c conniving or an opportunist? >> not the coffee boy, but clearly someone who was driving
this connection to the russians. he is being duped and played by the russians and that doesn't diminish the fact that we may have had conspiracy in crimes and computer hacking. >> fascinating all the way around. thank you for your time. in the next hour, msnbc live times square to keep the big new year's eve party safe. no matter how the markets change... at t. rowe price... our disciplined approach remains. global markets may be uncertain... but you can feel confident in our investment experience around the world.
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up next david on this new year's eve. happy new year. >> hello, everyone. i'm david gura. deadly protests. at least two protesters killed in iran in demonstrations over the country's economy. what's at stake as tensions flare? twitter storm. president trump attacking in a barrage of end of year tweets. how the president is closing out his 2017 on social media. clearer picture with the russia investigation showing no signs of slowing down. new reports shed new light on what may have prompted the probe. happy new year. low temperatures and high security will be hallmarks of celebrations across the country revellers police presence. the president of iran is addressing his divided nation as clashes break out there. reports that two people are dead, although the government blames foreign agents and now the government is cracking down on social media and popular messaging